Dangers of Tooth and Gum Erosion

By John Meola on June 04, 2012

Boston Tooth ErosionTwo common dental problems seen by our Boston cosmetic dentist over and over again are tooth erosion and gum erosion. For our patients in Boston, tooth erosion and gum erosion are dangerous conditions that can affect every age group. Children, teens, adults, and seniors are all at risk for developing tooth and gum erosion. Because the damage resulting from tooth erosion is irreversible, it is especially dangerous.

Dangers of Tooth Erosion

The tooth’s enamel is the outer covering of the tooth, the hardest tissue in the body, and it protects the underlying layers of the teeth. High acidic content in the mouth slowly wears away the enamel of the teeth, resulting in tooth erosion. Tooth erosion can cause painful and unattractive damage to the teeth. Unfortunately, the damage that results from tooth erosion cannot be reversed. Because of this, tooth erosion can be quite detrimental to the health and appearance of your teeth. Certain medical conditions and medications, foods and beverages high in acidic content, and dry mouth can cause tooth erosion to occur. There are many treatments available to Boston tooth erosion patients, including porcelain veneers, dental crowns, and root canal therapy. For patients with severe tooth erosion in Boston, dental crowns may be the most suitable treatment. Dental crowns can provide protection and restore strength to damaged teeth.

Devastating side effects of tooth erosion that are physically painful and aesthetically unpleasing include:

  • Sensitivity: slight twinges of pain when teeth are exposed to hot or cold temperatures or certain foods
  • Severe sensitivity: when tooth erosion has progressed, it can cause severe tooth pain when teeth are exposed to hot or cold temperatures or certain foods
  • Discoloration:  when tooth enamel erodes, the dentin underneath becomes exposed, making teeth appear yellow (slightly yellow to dark yellow)
  • Cupping:  the teeth have an unattractive dented appearance
  • Rounded: teeth will appear shiny or have a sandblasted appearance
  • Cracks and chips: cracks and chips are more likely with weakened tooth enamel

Dangers of Gum Erosion

The process in which the tissues that surround the teeth wear away, or recede toward the end of the tooth’s root, is gum erosion. Gum erosion, also known as gum recession, can cause severe damage to the bones and tissues that support the teeth. If left untreated, this damage can lead to the loss of one or more teeth. The first signs of gum erosion include teeth that appear to be longer than normal (more of the tooth’s surface is exposed) and sensitivity in the teeth. There are many causes of gum erosion. Among other causes, gum erosion may be caused by periodontal disease, aggressive tooth brushing, insufficient dental care, hormonal changes, tobacco use, clenching or grinding of the teeth, and a misaligned bite. Possible treatments for gum erosion include pocket depth reduction and soft tissue grafts. When tooth loss occurs as a result of gum erosion, dental implants may be used to add stability to dental restorations such as dental bridges.

Contact Dental Associates of New England Today

To learn more about the dangers of tooth and gum erosion and to schedule an examination, please contact Dental Associates of New England today.

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